From The Panhandle is now part of the...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Chicago Bulls Get the First Pick of the 2008 NBA Draft

Predicted to be the #9 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls jumped during the lottery to the top spot.

The Chicago Bulls, who had a 1.7% chance of getting that top spot, pushed the Miami Heat (who had a 25% chance) to the second spot and T-Wolves to number 3.

The 2008 NBA Draft will be like last year's draft where there are two prizes rather than just one. Last year we had Greg Oden out of Ohio State and Kevin Durant from Texas; this year we have Derrick Rose from Memphis and Michael Beasley from Kansas State.

2007 was not necessarily a down year for historic Chicago Bulls, but more of a rebuilding year as they picked up emotional Joakim Noah and made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.

The 2008 NBA Draft Order (Predicted spot):
1: Chicago Bulls (9)
2: Miami Heat (1)
3: Minnesota Timberwolves (3)
4: Seattle Supersonics (2)
5: Memphis Grizzlies (4)
6: New York Knicks (5)
7: Los Angeles Clippers (6)
8: Milwaukee Bucks (7)
9: Charlotte Bobcats (8)
10: New Jersey Nets (10)
11: Indiana Pacers (11)
12: Sacramento Kings (12)
13: Portland Trailblazers (13)
14: Golden State Warriors (14)
15: Phoenix Suns (N/A)

-On a personal note, my roomate, who is from Chicago and goes to Florida State hopes that this scenario happens:

"With the first pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls choose to release Joakim Noah. The Miami Heat are now on the clock..."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FSU All-American To Meet With Rays After Unbelievable Showing

On Monday May 12, The Florida State Seminoles showed off one of the most, if not the most, dominant, versatile college baseball players in the nation.

Mike Martin, long-time manager of the Seminoles, played star catcher Buster Posey in all nine positions on Monday against Savannah State in a 10-0 victory to close out the sweep. Not only did Posey play all the positions, he dominated all of them.

He started out the game at his normal position, catcher, moved to first base in the second, second base in the third, shortstop in the fourth, third base in the fifth, left field and center field in the sixth, and closed the game pitching and playing right field in the seventh.

It doesn't stop there, Posey hit a grand-slam during the game and struck out his both batters he faced in the game! 

"To see Buster play all nine positions tells you what kind of talent the guy has," Martin stated after the game, "At no time was I ever worried about a ball being hit to him. Buster looked very comfortable everywhere he was, so that just goes to show you."

Posey currently leads the ACC in home runs (16), RBI's (66), and batting average (.469) and is expected to be a very high pick in the June Amateur Draft. Posey is set to meet with the Rays, who own the first overall pick, later this week.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Are The Rays For Real Yet?

As the season keeps rolling along, the Tampa Bay Rays keep breaking personal records in this "break-out" season... but is it safe to say that they are for real? By getting rid of the "Devil" within their name, did they actually get rid of the Demon within their play?

Being in the AL East is no picnic to begin with as the team with the second lowest payroll (the Rays) competes with teams that are not afraid to spend some money. But, after an exciting sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Rays are looking strong, young, relatively healthy, and holding their spot in 2nd place in the division.

Fast, strong, and young, the Rays are leading the league in stolen bases, 6th in Runs scored and Home Runs; but the stats don't stop there as the pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays is 5th in ERA, 4th in opponent batting average with James Shields leading the team with a 3.14 ERA, and leading the league in complete game shutouts with 2, early in the season.

Are the Rays good enough to act tough throughout the 162 game season? Only 36 games in, the Rays are 5 games above .500 which is the franchise record, and on the verge of winning their 10th straight home game tonight against the Yankees, which would be another franchise record. Who knows how long the Rays will hold their second place in the AL East, but this year breaks yet another franchise record for the Rays being 2nd place this late into the season.

Carl Crawford, who leads the league in runs scored (30) and fourth in stolen bases (12), told reporters after the 8-5 victory over the Angels which completed the 3-game sweep, "We feel like we're going to win every game right now... we know that's not possible, but we have the confidence to feel that way."

Confidence is key for the Rays as their rookie third basemen, Evan Longoria, keeps his rookie-of-the-year bid in sight. Longoria's walk off 2 run homerun against the Angels on Friday helped James Shields get his second complete game shutout (a 1-hitter to boot).

Heading into a 4-game series against the Yankees, a team that the Rays have never had too much success against, might just be the answer of how well the Rays can hold up against the AL East at the moment. However, The Rays' ace Scott Kazmir is coming off the DL and scheduled to play the fourth game against the Yankees which brightens the outlook of the series for the team in the sunshine state; but BJ Upton is still day-to-day (but we all know he won't want to sit against the Yanks).

Are the Rays actually the force they portray to be? Lots of questions fill the air around young teams that are doing better than predicted, and good teams that are doing poorly; but which teams are just pulling our chains early in this 2008 baseball season?